Yes, there is a vuvuzela on SR soil!

By CHRIS ZIEMER

(Editor’s note: Chris Ziemer, Sonoma Academy athletic director and head girls soccer coach, is blogging for The Press Democrat at the World Cup in South Africa).

July 11, 2010

SANTA ROSA, Ca. –

Vuvuzela’s in the house…

I watched the Germany vs. Uruguay game at home yesterday and now better understand the vuvuzela dilemma fans around the globe have been facing.  After struggling with the volume to find the right level, I turned to my Dutch friend Jay, who has been in the U.S. for a few weeks, and asked if it was always this bad? He confirmed it was and it was then I realized that being in the stadium, at a FanPark, FanFest or even watching at a restaurant (all loud public areas) was much different than watching at home.  If that wasn’t bad enough, I returned with vuvuzelas for my two daughters, Sally (11) and Gabriella (8).  Let’s just say they have been getting some mileage out of them.  Not that tuning out the U.S. broadcasters was a bad thing…

World Cup fever – did the U.S. catch it?…

I’m hoping to experience some of the World Cup fever today, but yesterday was a bit of a letdown to be out shopping without people dressed in their countries (or other countries) uniforms or flags.  I was looking for businesses offering World Cup specials, TVs in the street or staff dressed in uniforms.  I’m happy to be back in the U.S., but was spoiled by being in South Africa and I’m looking forward to massive crowds and seas of Dutch orange and Spanish red & yellow for today’s final.

Spain Del Bosque’s bold move pays off…

How many coaches would bench star striker Fernando Torres in the World Cup semifinal?  While Pedro didn’t score, he wreaked havoc against Germany and certainly did enough to justify his inclusion in the lineup.  Now, the only question remains is who to play in the final?  Either way, the move was a good one.  If he starts Torres, although his confidence might be diminished, he will be motivated to prove his coach wrong and Pedro will be a weapon who can be called upon if Spain falls behind.  If he starts Pedro, his confidence is much higher after a dazzling performance against Germany and he still has Torres in the wings if needed.  Plus, if the game is on the line and Torres gets 10-15 minutes, nobody will remember how much he played if he can make the difference.  I say go with Pedro as Torres hasn’t played well.  When on his game, Torres is a brilliant finisher, but contributes little to the buildup for the team.  What good is a goal-scorer who isn’t scoring?  Pedro on the other hand creates opportunities for himself and his teammates and did more in about 80 minutes than Torres did over the course of 5 games.

I’m cheering for…a great game!…

I’ve yet to decide whether I want Netherlands or Spain to win.  I feel both have produced enough great players and teams over the years to deserve being crowned FIFA World Cup Champions.  In the end, it would be great to have an epic final, a real classic that even the casual observer can appreciate and enjoy.  Finals are usually a letdown but today will be different!